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There is no limit to enquiries - HODGE

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There is no limit to enquiries - HODGE

Post by PeterMac on 07.04.14 21:53

Some things don't go away.

Margaret Hodge 'sorry’ as council she led told to investigate Savile abuse allegations
Ex-children’s minister apologises for council’s 'shameful naivety’ in ignoring victims’ voices

By Robert Mendick, and Eileen Fairweather
8:30AM BST 06 Apr 2014
One of Labour’s most senior MPs has confessed to “shameful naivety” in ignoring the pleas of victims of paedophiles who were assaulted in children’s homes in a scandal-hit council she used to run.
Margaret Hodge, a former children’s minister, issued an apology amid a growing furore over the latest investigation into widespread sexual abuse in the London borough of Islington.
Police have uncovered possible evidence that Jimmy Savile sexually assaulted vulnerable children in a care home in Islington. It is the first time Savile has been connected with the abuse in Islington in the Seventies and early Eighties that has resulted in the council paying hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation to victims. It is thought dozens of vulnerable children were abused by a number of paedophiles.
However, most of the abusers escaped justice because allegations made at the time by victims were ignored and many files, which contained corroborating evidence, have been lost or shredded. Mrs Hodge was a councillor from 1973 and leader of the council for a decade from 1982.
The Department for Education has announced that Islington should now examine claims that Savile abused children from one of its homes for itself. The home has not been identified and one of Islington’s tasks will be to find it and to see if staff aided and abetted Savile.

An investigation by The Telegraph can disclose:
• At one Islington children’s home, a victim of abuse recalled “Jimmy Savile taxis” being despatched to the hostel where she was living 40 years ago. She has no recollection of Savile ever visiting the home.
• A man closely connected to the same children’s home was accused of rape and attempted rape of young girls;
• The allegations against the man were ignored and the alleged attacker went on to work overseas in a hospital for seriously ill children;
• Concerns over Islington’s ability to conduct an independent investigation have intensified after it emerged that the councillor in charge of children’s social services is Mrs Hodge’s son-in-law.
Victims of abuse in Islington are still coming forward, in some cases more than 40 years after the alleged incidents. One person has claimed she was regularly sexually assaulted in a park and her sister raped by a man connected to one of the children’s homes in the borough in the early Seventies. The alleged suspect was allowed to leave Britain and went on to work with dying and seriously ill children in a hospital abroad.
A friend of the woman said: “She just came out with what happened to her only last year. She is still very damaged. She was about 10 at the time.
“She would be taken to the park and he attempted to rape her. Her sister was raped. She said she reported it to the authorities, but she was simply moved to another children’s home. Her attacker is now living overseas.”
The victim also spoke of “Jimmy Savile taxis” coming to the home, suggesting that children were collected there and ferried to Savile, who used his position as a celebrity to procure children. The victim was unable to provide any further details and had no recollection of Savile visiting the home. Savile is reckoned to be the most prolific child sex offender in modern British criminal history.
Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has instigated investigations into 21 children’s homes around the country where Savile is suspected of abusing vulnerable young people. In almost all the cases, the identity of the home is known. Local authorities or organisations have been asked to conduct their own inquiries in each case.
Islington Council dismissed calls for Joe Caluori, who is married to Mrs Hodge’s daughter, to step aside from his post while its investigation is ongoing. The council insisted there was no conflict of interest and that the council’s director of social services would report directly to the Department for Education rather than to Mr Caluori.
But victims, lawyers and whistle-blowers are demanding an independent inquiry.
Demetrious Panton, who was repeatedly abused by Bernie Bain, the former head of an Islington children’s home in the late Seventies, said: “An independent police investigation into Islington is crucial. I know so much. Yet, throughout all the 13 inquiries into Islington, I was never once asked to give evidence.”
Mr Panton, who is a lawyer, added: “We still don’t know the full extent of Islington’s corruption. There are a lot of individuals who I know, abuse survivors, who have not yet contacted Islington or the police about what they know. There is a real lack of trust.”
Mr Panton first complained about Bain in 1979 but was ignored. When Mrs Hodge was children’s minister in 2003, and her job under pressure over her former role at Islington council, she accused Mr Panton of being “extremely disturbed” in a private letter to the BBC in an attempt to discredit his testimony.
Asked if he thought it right that Mrs Hodge’s son-in-law now held a key position in the council, he replied: “Of course not. I don’t know him at all and he may be a fine councillor, but I would think it is better that he is not in this position, given the association.”
Mrs Hodge told The Telegraph in a statement: “I have apologised a number of times over the last 10 years for our failure to understand about child abuse and take children’s voices seriously in the Eighties. I am sorry. Our naivety was shameful and I’m really glad we’ve learned since then the importance of listening to the voices of children who have been abused.”
Frances Swaine, the managing partner at Leigh Day law firm, which represented several Islington abuse victims, underlined calls for an independent inquiry. “In her position as leader of Islington Council [Mrs Hodge] was under a duty to investigate evidence of the sexual abuse of children in her council’s care,” she said. “Sadly, for whatever reason, this did not happen for several years.”
Dr Liz Davies, a reader in child protection at London Metropolitan University and a senior social worker who first reported concerns to her superiors, said: “If ever there was a case for a national police investigation team, it must be in this instance [Savile’s crimes], to coordinate all the inquiries.
“Yet, Mr Gove has asked Islington to conduct its own investigation and it is now firmly the responsibility of this authority. Historic child abuse cases are not simple and Islington has not got the best of reputations for retention of children’s and adult’s files and relevant documentation.”
A spokesman for Islington council said: “The council’s Director of Children’s Services has been asked by the Department for Education (DfE) to oversee this investigation. She will appoint an independent person from outside the council to lead our investigation.
“Our investigation will follow the clear and detailed guidance provided to us, and we will then submit a draft report to Lucy Scott-Moncrieff – appointed by the DfE to provide the Secretary of State for Education with assurance that all investigations are robust and thorough. Elected members never take part in investigations of this nature. It will be carried out by suitably qualified professional officers.

So Hodge has "confessed to shameful naiveté"  Good word, 'confessed'. More powerful than admitted, or accepted,
Is she the first in a long list ?
The Consultant who bailed out of the Fund some time ago
All the current Trustees (other than the family, of course)
Adam Tudor ?
Mrs Martorell ?

Will this be the excuse Mitchell tries ?

And re: the bit in red.  Similar tactics to McCanns - v - Bennett ? Pick on one and pursue as far as you can, and even abuse him in a "best-selling book" to intimidate not only him, but all the others who had thought of doing the same thing ?

Just a thought, you know.



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Re: There is no limit to enquiries - HODGE

Post by Gillyspot on 07.04.14 22:11

A bit more about Hodge & Islington on the attached link.

Be warned it makes disturbing reading (mods remove if you want).

IMO Hodge was fully aware of all allegations regarding paedophiles in Islington & it makes you wonder whether her husband was too.


Kate McCann "I know that what happened is not due to the fact of us leaving the children asleep. I know it happened under other circumstances"

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Re: There is no limit to enquiries - HODGE

Post by sallypelt on 07.04.14 22:13

@Gillyspot wrote:A bit more about Hodge & Islington on the attached link.

Be warned it makes disturbing reading (mods remove if you want).

IMO Hodge was fully aware of all allegations regarding paedophiles in Islington & it makes you wonder whether her husband was too.

Is this the same Margaret Hodge who had a third class degree in government studies? I thought they give you a third if you just put your name at the top of the page, and did nothing else.


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Re: There is no limit to enquiries - HODGE

Post by Gillyspot on 07.04.14 22:28

The very same one Sallypelt.

A bit more about Hodge & Islington (again not pretty reading).

For an account of what really happened with Margaret Hodge and Islington Children’s Homes, read this Evening Standard story from 2003:
‘Yes Minister, you were told about child abuse in the care homes, yet you refused to listen’
by David Cohen
IMMEDIATELY after Tony Blair appointed Margaret Hodge as the new Minister for Children in his recent reshuffle, phones started ringing among former social workers who had once worked under her. “It’s like putting the fox in charge of the chickens,” one commented in disgust. “A sick joke,” remarked another.
These social workers couldn’t help recalling the inside story of an appalling child sex abuse scandal many of us have forgotten. In 1990, when Mrs Hodge – then Mr Blair’s neighbour in Richmond Crescent, Islington – was the leader of Islington council, these senior social workers had reported to her that a paedophile ring was operating in the borough and that children were being sexually abused in Islington care homes.
Mrs Hodge’s response was revealing: she chose not to back a thorough investigation. Instead, she dismissed their concerns and accused these social workers of being ” obsessional”.
When the story was exposed in the Evening Standard two-andahalf years later, in October 1992, her re-sponse was equally aggressive. She accused the newspaper of “a sensationalist piece of gutter journalism”. It would be a further two-and-a-half years and five independent reports later before she would half-heartedly admit that she was wrong. Yet she would have known as early as 1991 that paedophiles were preying on children in Islington’s care." snip

"vulnerable children in its care to paedophiles, pimps, prostitutes and pornographers.
What the Standard and the White report found inexcusable was the council’s refusal – led by Margaret Hodge – to listen and act when experienced staff and terrified children tried to articulate what was going on. Their testimonies lifted the lid on horrific events that were taking place in Islington: teenagers selling sex from their council homes, a girl knifed by a sexual abuser inside a children’s unit, a girl and a boy who shared a bed with a known paedophile, a 15-year-old boy fostered with a suspected paedophile – overriding the vociferous protests of social workers – who later sexually abused the boy as predicted. We could go on and on.
The tragedy was that from the moment these children came to live in the seemingly safe children’s homes under the care of Islington council, they became fair game." snip

Both snipped from here

Kate McCann "I know that what happened is not due to the fact of us leaving the children asleep. I know it happened under other circumstances"

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